Decommission LTTE arms, says PNM
COLOMBO: The Patriotic National Movement yesterday called on the
government to decommission all arms held by the LTTE before entering
into peace talks with the group.
The Movement's president Dr. Gunadasa Amarasekera said that the
government must seriously take into account the decommissioning of LTTE
arms as a pre-condition to talks.
He was speaking at a press conference held yesterday at the Sri Lanka
Referring to the recent listing of the LTTE as a terrorist
organisation by the EU, Dr. Amarasekera said, "the EU should have banned
the LTTE much earlier. However, we are thankful to the EU for listing
them as a terrorist organisation even at this later stage."
Speaking on the EU proclamation on the LTTE ban, he said, "in Clause
two of the ban it had said the decommissioning of the weapons of the
LTTE should take place first, and peace talks can take place only after
"This is an important proclamation made by the EU. It is important
because there is no country in the world that has committed itself to
have talks with a terrorist organisation without that organisation
surrendering their weapons," he pointed out.
"Obviously, the EU has made a positive gesture to the government to
direct its efforts towards disarming the LTTE before it can have talks
with them," he said.
"We think that the government should consider this seriously and work
accordingly on this line. We feel what should be done now by the
government is to focus on getting the LTTE to lay down their weapons
than to focus on getting them down for talks, " he added.
Commenting on decisions and declarations made at the Tokyo Donor
Co-Chairs meeting, Dr. Amarasekera said, the Co-Chairs have said they
would give aid to us only if we make peace."
"This is a high handed statement.They have said this as if they offer
this aid to beggars whereas we have to repay these debts for
generations," he pointed out.
Besides , how can they say this to the government when the government
is doing its best to promote peace. It is the LTTE that is spreading
terrorism in the country blocking the path to peace with acts of
violence, he said.
Therefore, we feel these type of statements should not be made by
donor countries because it will indirectly put the blame on the
government unnecessarily, he said.